Not even a downpour could dampen StarKist’s party
The green grassy field of Veterans Stadium on Saturday turned into pools of water everywhere as StarKist Samoa employees took the stage for their siva, but as promised by StarKist officials — rain or shine the 50th Anniversary celebration goes on.
The water turned the field to mud in places as employees performed in rain and more rain. They were real troopers however, as they danced and sang. The puddles of water even added to some comic performances, bringing laughter from the crowd.
As the rain continued its downpour, so did the siva by the various divisions of the company. It was just like they were performing during a sunny day, with one group putting on sunglasses that matched their outfits for a popular song as it was acted out.
“Rain or shine we continue on with the celebration, said Taeoafua Dr. Meki Solomona, the master of ceremonies, as the next division made their way to the field to dance. Around the time, the Fish Coordination group made their way in, heavy rain had formed a pool of water angle high, just in front of the “track and field” area of the stadium.
The all male Engineering division group came next with their performance that included a lot of hip swinging while bared-chested and wearing lavalava. Their dance to the tune of “Who let the Dogs Out” brought loud laughter from the crowd.
StarKist Samoa mascot, Charlie the Tuna, was all over the field, joining in the dances.
Overall, StarKist workers gave outstanding performances despite the rain and they didn’t hold back. The crowd was delighted and happy and so were those who watched the celebration live on KVZK-TV.
Earlier in the day, there were speeches on the cloudy Saturday morning with Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga reiterating what he told an audience Friday night that, StarKist Samoa is not just a business for American Samoa and Samoa, “StarKist is family.”
“Any successful business and any successful organization, what contributes to its success is leadership. But it is the employees that fundamentally determine the great success in every business,” the governor said.
To all the employees of StarKist Samoa, “you have accomplished that feat today. And I take my hat to all of you, for your dedication, your commitment and your hard work. Today is the beginning of your journey towards the next 50 years of successful operation in American Samoa. And we pray to God to provide an environment, were we can nurture and help the business to become successful,” he said.
Jae Chul Kim, owner and chairman of South Korean based Dongwon Industries, owner of StarKist Co., and its local operation StarKist Samoa told the crowd, “We value the five decades of dedication the American Samoan people have demonstrated to StarKist.”
“We recognize the StarKist success would not have been possible without your hard work and commitment,” said Mr. Kim, through an English interpreter.
“Today’s jubilant celebration full of music, song and dance is certainly a fitting tribute for such an outstanding milestone,” he said and noted that he and StarKist both have a “very special relationship with American Samoa and its people.”
Pittsburgh-based StarKist Co., president and CEO Sam Hwi Lee said that in celebration of the 50th anniversary in American Samoa, StarKist recently announced a newly branded ‘Made in America’ tuna product.
The new red, while and blue tuna product, now sold in grocery stores across the U.S. is “proudly prepared and packaged in American Samoa,” he said to cheers from StarKist workers.”
And to commemorate the brand and the company’s “continued dedication to this island, its economy and its people, StarKist is also committing $50,000” to the Polamalu foundation, he said and announced a gift from the company’s head office in honor of the 50th anniversary.
A plaque will be placed at the front entrance of the StarKist Samoa factory and Lee read the wording:
“Think for all, not one. Thank you to the American Samoan people and congratulations on 50 years of remarkable achievement. As America’s favorite tuna, StarKist success would not be possible without your hard work and commitment. We honor this momentous occasion, and we celebrate the wonderful people of American Samoa who made it possible.”
More details and photos of the celebration in tomorrow’s edition. More photos of the celebration are now on Samoa News’ Facebook page. CLICK HERE
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